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Henry Louis GATES

American Henry Louis GATES

American filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on September 16, 1950 in Keyser, West Virginia, USA  (70 years)


Gates was born in Keyser, West Virginia, to Henry Louis Gates, Sr. and his wife Pauline Augusta (Coleman) Gates. He grew up in neighboring Piedmont, which he described in his memoir Colored People. His family is descended from the Yoruba nation in the country of Benin. He also has some ancestry in the distinctive mixed-race West Virginia community of the Chestnut Ridge people.

At age 14, he was injured playing touch football, fracturing the ball and socket joint of his hip, resulting in a slipped epiphysis. The injury was misdiagnosed by a physician, who told Gates' mother that his problem was psychosomatic. When the physical damage finally healed, his right leg was two inches shorter than his left. Because of the injury, Gates now uses a cane to help him walk.

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